TBI Symptoms

TBI Causes Risk Factors

Understanding and Identifying TBI Symptoms

A traumatic brain injury can affect numerous aspects of a person’s physical, emotional and cognitive well being. Most TBI symptoms appear immediately or shortly after the initial injury. In many cases, symptoms can be easy to miss. The following are lists of possible TBI symptoms. In no way should the following lists be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury, seek medical advice immediately and dial 911 in case of an emergency.

The following are symptoms associated with all types of TBI, including mild (between 13 and 15 points on the Glasgow Coma Scale-GCS), moderate (between 9 and 12 points on the GCS) or severe (between 3 and 8 points on the GCS) injuries. One should seek medical advice if they see signs of the following TBI symptoms after a head injury. TBI symptoms include:

  • headache
  • bad taste in mouth
  • ringing in ears
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision / tired eyes
  • fatigue / lethargy
  • change in sleeping patterns
  • behavioral changes and mood changes
  • trouble with memory
  • trouble with concentration
  • trouble with attention
  • trouble thinking

The following are symptoms associated with moderate or severe TBI. If the following symptoms are seen or if there is any suspicion of a TBI, you should contact a physician immediately or call 911.

  • headache that gets worse or doesn’t go away
  • repeated vomiting or nausea
  • inability to wake from sleep
  • convulsions or seizures
  • spinal fluid/liquid coming out of the ears or nose
  • dilation of one or both pupils
  • slurred speech
  • paralysis
  • slow pulse
  • weakness or numbness of extremities
  • loss of coordination
  • increased confusion
  • restlessness
  • inappropriate emotional responses (inappropriate crying or laughing, irritability, agitation)
  • loss of bowel or bladder control

When Children suffer a traumatic brain injury, TBI symptoms can be extremely difficult to detect since they might lack the ability to communicate. If a child begins showing signs of the following TBI symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

  • refuse to eat
  • appear cranky or listless
  • change in sleeping pattern
  • change in school performance
  • loss of interest in favorite activity

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